Kentucky senators on forefront of GOP healthcare fight - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Kentucky senators on forefront of GOP healthcare fight

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Mitch McConnell Mitch McConnell
Rand Paul Rand Paul

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Thursday was the Senate's turn to release its plan to replace Obamacare.

But while they are on the same side of the aisle, Kentucky's senators stand on very different sides of this plan.

After weeks of secret meetings, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell detailed the plan Senate Republicans have come up with to replace Obamacare. Among the key points are a phasing out of Medicaid expansion beginning in four years, a year later than the House bill.

It would also repeal the individual mandate to buy health insurance, repeal Obamacare taxes on the wealthy, and it would defund Planned Parenthood for one year.

"We'll eliminate costly Obamacare costs passed on to consumers so we can put downward pressure on premiums, expand tax-free Health Savings Accounts and deploy targeted tax credits so we can help defray out-of-pocket costs," McConnell said.

The plan does not include a controversial house proposal allowing states to decide on protections for people with pre-exiting conditions. Still, some Republicans aren't yet on board, including Kentucky's Rand Paul, who said it doesn't do what it was supposed to.

"We promised to repeal Obamacare," Paul said. "The current bill looks like we're keeping large parts of Obamacare."

McConnell is pushing for a vote by next week.  But he can only afford to have two Republicans vote against it.  And right now, Paul is among a host of Republicans who don't like what they see and doubt that will change in a matter of days.

"We also need to negotiate over what's good, what's bad and what we can get into the bill to make it better," Paul said.

Indiana Democratic Sen. Joe Donnelly also expressed concern over how quickly the plan is being pushed through. Republican Todd Young isn't exactly saying which way he'll vote but said doing nothing is not an option.

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